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UPS escalates worker repression, issues working discharges to 249 NYC strikers

By staff |
March 6, 2014
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New York, NY – In the wake of a walkout of UPS drivers on Feb. 26, at the Queens hub in New York City, UPS reportedly issued ‘working discharges’ today, March 6, to 249 workers who participated in the strike.

After the dispute protesting the company’s abuse of workers, including selectively targeting union fighters, UPS ratcheted up tensions to dangerous levels by issuing working terminations. This constitutes a serious threat to the livelihoods of hundreds of workers providing for families and their children.

Currently, negotiations to resolve the dispute continue between the leadership of Local 804 and UPS management. Local 804 enjoys wide support as President Tim Sylvester and his leadership team rebuilt 804 into a militant rank-and-file union in the tradition of Ron Carey over the past few years.

Outrage spread quickly across the country as many Teamsters involved in the Vote No on the UPS contract movement heard the news. Hundreds of comments poured in on the group’s facebook page pledging solidarity with Local 804 and the drivers. With several supplements still outstanding, and dissatisfaction among many UPS workers over the proposed national contract, many workers expect such harsh retaliation by UPS could spark a national pushback at Big Brown.

Several 804 members, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation, reflected this as they went so far as to declare their willingness to walk out and organize a local-wide strike if the company refused to back down and pressed firing the 249 drivers. “I will risk my job and walk, and get as many as I can to follow me if those unfair discharges are upheld,” said one UPS worker.

“If they fire our brothers and sisters, we are going to fight back and do whatever is necessary. This is a fighting union and UPS better realize that if New York City stands up, other locals will follow,” said a part-time 804 member.